I’m the busiest I have ever been in my life and I love it.
They weren’t lying when they said med school is like drinking out of a fire hose. It really does feel like that—and I have had to learn (still learning) to adapt to this new way of life. Although it’s only been a little over a month into school, it has already felt like an eternity. Time has a funny way of working. I remember over my gap year feeling like the weeks were just flying by. When I had an established routine, each day just blurred into the next. In med school, however, the days are never the same. Each day is a new set of classes (or podcasts, in my case), a different clinical experience, and a new bucket of information to learn. The novelty really keeps me on my toes, and makes time go by so slowly.
As much as I would LOVE to complain about the stresses of school and the pain of waking up early and staying up late each day, I still find myself smiling ear to ear every day because of how grateful I am to be here, doing what I’m doing. Sure, med school is really hard and I by no means am trying to downplay the rigor of it—but this is what I signed up for and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.
Besides accessing an incredible wealth of knowledge at school, I have also had the immense privilege of getting to know a group of compassionate, hard-working, and intelligent individuals I get to call my classmates. It’s crazy for me to think that just a couple weeks ago, they were strangers to me. Tribulation has a way of bonding people together incredibly quickly—med school being no exception.
As my schedule has intensified, I find that the hardest thing has been to make time for the things I care about and love—such as updating my blog, painting, spending quiet time with God. (My sleep has definitely suffered as a result.) It has become increasingly hard to carve out time in my day for anything besides studying, eating, and working out.
One repeated sentiment I have heard from well-meaning Christian medical students is that eventually, somewhere down the line, you will have to choose between God and school. For instance, having to choose between attending an anatomy review session and going to bible study. I myself have had to wrestle through this idea—that I must CHOOSE. Ironically, my church that I have been attending has been studying the book of Hebrews, which warns against drifting away.
Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. (Hebrews 3:12-13.)
Honestly, the thought of drifting away frightens me. But at the same time, I am comforted by the fact that ultimately, Jesus is the perfecter of my faith and that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) The bottom line is this: I did not get into med school by my own power and I surely will not get through it on my own. And frankly the only motivation that is strong enough to sustain me is that everything I do brings glory to the One I owe everything to. A pastor I spoke with recently put it like this: “at the end of the day, all you need is to be able to say to God that ‘I tried my best in school and did not compromise in my relationship with You.’”
Although I continue to stumble and fall, needing His grace more and more each day, I am confident that nothing—not med school, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8":38-39)